Honda's $995 Motocompacto E-Scooter May Look Dorky But There's A Good Reason Why
Honda has released a new compact e-scooter meant for city travel, recreational sightseeing, and campus cruising, as long as the rider does not mind looking like they're riding a giant sim card on wheels. Or a briefcase. Or a giant Square accessory, or...well, you get the idea.
Remember the Honda Motocompo from the early 80s? It was a tiny 2.5 horsepower 49cc air-cooled unit built specifically to fit in the trunks of Honda's City and Today subcompact cars. Fast forward to 2023 to our EV-crazed society and we now have an all-electric successor called the Motocompacto.
The company believes that the svelte and easily transportable Motocompacto will fit schools and businesses that need compact and clean transportation between buildings, or individuals who prize something easily totable in the trunk of their cars or on trips. In its most compact form, the e-scooter is no larger than a large piece of luggage. The slim outer shell (or "canvas") can be had in white or can be customize with whatever the buyer can imagine—think university branding, company artwork, decals, skins, ads, etc.
Specs are quite modest considering the size of the unit, although the $995 MSRP isn't. Top speed is 15 mph (no VTEC, yo) with a theoretical range of up to 12 miles. Honda states that there's water resistance, with a physical rear drum brake. The controls are easy: a single button power cycles the scooter as well as changes the modes. This is paired with a thumb throttle and regular-sized brake lever. In terms of safety lighting, there's not much beyond the tiny LED headlight plus what looks like a rear brake light.
Pushing $1,000 is a lot for an e-scooter of this performance type where, honestly, most of the price is brand tax. When you strip down the outer shell (where most of its white space can be used for storing things like a laptop, for example), you can see that the general layout is basically a hobby e-scooter minus the deck with the motor at the front wheel hub instead. The main mechanical mods would be the folding wheel and stowable handlebar, foot pegs, and seat.
The Motocompacto is available now either from Honda or Acura dealers. As for after-sales support, it's not clear whether there will be a dedicated customer service line to contact or if owners will have to bring it into the dealership.